The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade got a taste of politics on Thursday as a group of people broke through barriers and sat in the middle of the parade route. The protesters wore shirts that showed they were protesting in support of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
The “Dreamers” — named after the proposed DREAM Act — are young undocumented immigrants brought to the United States as children who believe their pathway to citizenship has been interrupted by various government actions and pieces of legislation. Increased attention has been put on Dreamers during the presidency of Donald Trump. The Trump administration rescinded DACA in the fall of 2017.
Photos online show the protesters being led away from the parade route by NYPD officers, as parade walkers scurry away. Other protesters screamed “undocumented, unafraid” as the people were led away.
Dreamers have interrupted the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade today.
"I am doing this to bring dignity to our undocumented community, without fear. I want to bring awareness that while some families are together, others are being torn apart." pic.twitter.com/gicarhxf3n
— Irvin Camacho (@IrvinCamachoAR) November 23, 2017
Images of the women, in coalition with FightForOurDream.com, soon began appearing online. The images identified the women and explained why they chose to protest.
DACA recipients are putting their bodies on the line at the Macy's Day Parade to fight for #OurDream. Join them in December to demand permanent protection for Dreamers: https://t.co/kRHfDJvDG1 pic.twitter.com/h0K9vWuSOL
— Democracy Spring (@DemSpring) November 23, 2017
— Assyrian Jedi (@AssyrianJedii) November 23, 2017
A press release from The Seed Project went live shortly after the Thursday morning protest. Hector-Jario Martinez, one of the protesters identified in the release, explained his position.
Undocumented youth are refusing to put our destiny in the hands of establishment politicians. We are choosing to fight for the dignity of our entire immigrant community, and that begins with us. We are your classmates, your coworkers, and your neighbors. We are not just the future of this country, but we are also the present workers that it depends on. We are millions of young undocumented students and workers who are the backbones of our schools, industries, and communities. We are calling on our community members to stand up and fight for our right to work and live in this country.